I feel like I should start this review by saying that there isn’t a single film starring Ben Stiller that I ever liked, or even found particularly memorable. The comedies his filmorgaphy is filled with are not and never were the type of films I ever enjoyed.
Which is exactly why I don’t have the slightest idea why I even wanted to see The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty to begin with. And the fact that I somehow ended up liking it way more than I expected makes even less sense. It’s not that it was a particularly good film. Or that the idea was original. Or the execution, for that matter. But it did strike some chords something in me. And that’s usually not a bad thing!
So, to sum up the ups and downs…
~ The cinematography. Hands down, it was stunning! All flaws (that we’ll get to later) aside, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty was downright beautiful! Following Mr. Mitty across the globe was one hell of an adventure I certainly found absolutely fascinating! Greenland
~ The idea – we’ll get to execution later – was interesting! Seeing as how most of daydream a great deal of time – willingly or unwillingly – it was lovely to step into the world that we create for ourselves.
~ The music. The film deserves to be seen just for the score alone. It was a wonderful addition to the story, and very well applied.
~ The story was really sweet and, I would even say, quite inspiring for all of us quiet introverts who find it hard to exist I the world we can’t really fit in most of time. It was easy to identify with Walter and how his own small – or big and adventurous – world was such an important part of his life.
~ The guy got the girl in the end 🙂 As much as I love dark, heartbreaking and depressing endings in dramas, some cheesiness in romantic comedies can’t be bad now and then. Besides, after everything Walter’s been through, he kind of deserved it!
~ I am not entirely sure if that was what they were going for but the corporate bullies were so desperately and foolishly caricaturish it made my brain hurt. I have seen a great deal of office jerks in my life, sadly, but most of them, especially the top level ones, do remember that they’re not at a frat party anymore. The mighty in powerful in The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty were so ridiculous though it was impossible to take them seriously. And OMG WHAT’S WITH THE BEARD????!!!
*WARNING!! May hurt your eyes and damage your psych.
~ The biggest problem I had with this film was, without any doubt, inconsistency. Spending at least 90% of time daydreaming myself, I dearly loved the daydream sequences and the way they let us step into Walter Mitty’s mind and see the world through his eyes. Not to mention that they were beautifully filmed. But – and that’s a HUGE but – if you start with the daydream sequences, you better keep ‘em coming throughout the entire film! Yet, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty abandoned the idea half way through.
~ Which made it really confusing because for the greater part of Walter’s trip to Greenland and beyond I actually believed that it was him daydreaming as well. Until Shannon appeared with a guitar in the middle of nowhere, Greenland. Not to mention the fact that you can’t climb mount Everest or its equivalent without special training. Otherwise you’ll, you know, die. And – JESUS CHRIST!!! – do not go to Afghanistan with your mom’s cake!! You’ll e dead in under 5 minutes, tops! Geez!
~ Did I mention evil douche bag beard?
~ And the last but not least – I still wanna know how that photographer guy was connected to Walter Mitty’s family. Why would he go to Walter’s mother for a cake or whatever if he supposedly never met Walter himself? It seems to be quite important, and yet it’s never been explained.
I wouldn’t call The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty my favorite movie ever. Nor was it particularly memorable in the long run either. But it was lovely and adorable and every kind of sweet on many, many levels. I laughed for almost two hours straight, and I rooted for the characters, and I did quite inspiring. However comical, it did touch a few important aspects, like never giving up, never stopping to dream, and realizing that a happy ending doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be right.
I would absolutely recommend watching it, just keep your expectation low and just have fun! And if you’re lucky, you’ll leave the theatre feeling better about the world around you.